Rice wants local control returned to Newark, other urban schools

TRENTON – Sen. Ronald Rice spoke on the Senate floor today on behalf of three school systems that remain under state control and consequently, he said, are being denied true representation.

Rice, as he has before, called for action on behalf of Newark, Jersey City and Paterson, whose systems have been under state control for 18, 22, and 24 years, respectively, he said.

He called on the Senate to hold Education Committee hearings in those cities to receive testimony from clergy and others.

After so many years of being under state control, Rice said, “maybe this is not about education. It’s about privatization of public schools in urban communities.

“We have a right as African-Americans, as Latinos, to determine our own destiny in collaboration with the state.”

He said Newark has met “indicators” set by the state but still the Education Department won’t return local control of the schools to Newark.

“We’re still fighting for economic justice and parity,’’ he said.

Rice wants local control returned to Newark, other urban schools